Wintec responds to demand for physiotherapy

Wintec plans to launch a new Bachelor of Physiotherapy programme for 2019

The demand for qualified physiotherapists is reaching critical levels and Wintec’s plan to launch a new Bachelor of Physiotherapy programme in the Midland region is responding to this.

The development of Wintec’s proposed four-year Bachelor of Physiotherapy has centred on the demand for qualified physiotherapists, the opportunity for a central North Island-based degree and the need to increase the number of Māori and Pasifika physiotherapists in the region.

Wintec director of Health and Social Practice Dr Angela Beaton says the Wintec programme has been developed in consultation with communities and local providers, and will support increased numbers of Māori and Pasifika students to enter the programme and become physiotherapists.

“Currently physiotherapy students have the choice of studying in Auckland or Dunedin. Moving away from whānau commitments and support networks can be difficult, so a third physiotherapy programme in the Waikato region will be welcome,” says Angela.

“To fulfil the demand for culturally responsive, work-ready physiotherapists across the Midland region, we have designed a programme where students can study closer to home, supported by a blend of on-campus, online and clinical education.”

Lianne Kohere is the Pou Manukura Kia Ora Hauora Midland programme facilitator. She has a focus on creating pathways into tertiary study for Māori secondary school students. Lianne has been working with Wintec’s Centre for Health and Social Practice team during the development of the qualification, which has a strong focus on hauora. Hauora is a Māori concept of wellbeing that encompasses the physical, mental and emotional, social and spiritual dimensions of health.

“When you consider that in the Midland region, 26 per cent of the population identify as Māori and 7.4 per cent identify as Pasifika, it’s clear we need to respond to this with a programme, which is not just accessible and current, but culturally responsive and which demonstrates safe physiotherapy care within our communities,” says Lianne.

While the programme is subject to final approval from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and the New Zealand Physiotherapy Board, Angela says the response to date has been very positive.

“Wintec has a strong focus on growing our health and social care workforce. We provide interprofessional teaching and learning opportunities, and quality clinical practice placements in partnership with the amazing providers in the region, to prepare graduates to meet the needs of our communities,” says Angela.

“With the addition of physiotherapy, Wintec offers a wide range of professional health and social practice programmes.”

Wintec plans to open enrolment in October 2018 for students intending to commence study in February 2019.*

Find out more about studying towards a career in physiotherapy at Wintec.

Find out more about the Kia Ora Hauora Midland programme.

* Pending final approval and accreditation.